Zàijiàn Shanghai, annyeong-ha-seyo Busan

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

My Interim Moodie Davitt Report Busan Bureau offers a magnificent view over Songdo Beach in the southern Korean city’s Seo-gu area. From my 17th-floor window in my local Airbnb, I’m watching the early morning swimmers making their way across the bay, bathed in a weak but lovely Autumn sunlight. Above them, the Songdo cable cars which traverse the harbour, lie still before they kick into action in a couple of hours.

Morning calm: The bay at Songdo Beach bathed in Autumn sunshine.

It’s a tranquil scene in the country dubbed ‘The land of the morning calm’ and I’m enjoying such serenity after the frenzy of running The Trinity Forum in Shanghai these past few days. Trinity has come a long way since its inauguration in 2003 and this was one of the most powerful and provocative editions yet. The richness and non-parochialism of the content combined for a fascinating snapshot of travel retail’s state of the nation as we approach the third decade of the 21st century.

Flying out of Shanghai…
… and into Busan.

On a personal level, it is immensely satisfying to see my ‘eureka moment’ of 2003 – conceiving a platform and a principle dedicated to nurturing greater mutual understanding and partnership between three key industry stakeholders, dubbed ‘Trinity’ – having grown to form such a critical component of industry dialogue.

From overdrive at Trinity to Easy Rider in Busan.

These events take it out of you though. I’m no longer a spring chicken, as my dear Ma would have put it, but more of an aging old rooster with about as much spring in my step as one knowing he has an imminent appointment with the local butcher.

Well that’s not strictly true. The combination  of adrenalin rush, responsibility and pressure ensures that I bounce around like a human rubber ball for a couple of days but after that I’ve got about as much life left in me as that same rooster has after a few hours in the casserole pot.

I’m in Busan with my wife for family reasons, a nice opportunity to draw breath, before flying home to London next week for a date at Twickenham to see my beloved All Blacks take on the might of England. As is my want – alright, I just can’t help myself – I showed some images of the All Blacks Rugby World Cup victories in 2011 and 2015 during my Trinity introduction to Auckland Airport’s Jayne Wear.

Of course, it would not have been right to close without adding a third shot (above), that of the team preparing to hold the same cup aloft in Japan next year. You read it first on The Moodie Davitt Report. I knew that Trinity was influential, but being able to so accurately anticipate the future shows just how far we have come.

So, Zàijiàn Shanghai, annyeong-ha-seyo Busan. Another Trinity Forum done. Time for a moment to be, as it were, free of duty.

A rare treat of being able to interview the legendary Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, and the retailer’s driving force since 1983, on stage.
China Duty Free Group President Charles Chen delivered an outstanding analysis of the opportunities perceived by the China travel retail powerhouse.
A memorable welcome to CNSC’s splendid post-arrivals downtown duty free shop in Shanghai.

Stunning displays for Chivas XV (above) and Jo Malone (below) by Sunrise Duty Free at Shanghai Pudong Airport.


Shanghai Airport Authority President Xin Feng welcomes guests to the Gala Dinner and reminds them of the power and potential of the Chinese travel retail business. Guests were then escorted onboard a cruise vessel for a thrilling night ride along the Huangpu river.
My excellent dinner companions, China Duty Free Group President Charles Chen and Sunrise Duty Free General Manager Fengyi Zhang.
Getting ready to roar at the Gala Dinner with my business partner and fellow Trinity moderator Dermot Davitt.

Breeda and Colm McLoughlin join my table for a wonderful evening to cap a memorable event.
The Trinity Forum, which espouses the virtues of partnerships, is itself an excellent alliance, appropriately between three parties. Here, I’m joined by our fine partners, ACI World Director General Angela Gittens and ACI Asia-Pacific Regional Director Patti Chau.
Two of my favourite people in the travel retail universe: JR/Duty Free and James Richardson owner Evelyn Danos and Breeda McLoughlin from Dubai Duty Free enjoy the spectacular view of Shanghai by night.

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